2023 Finalist, Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting

Investigating Federal Prison Abuse 

The moment Jeffrey Epstein was found dead from a suicide in his federal jail cell, Associated Press reporters Mike Balsamo and Mike Sisak got to work. The two wanted to understand how the Federal Bureau of Prisons could have been so dysfunctional that its highest profile inmate in decades could have taken his own life. What followed was an investigation involving the federal Bureau of Prisons, the Justice Department’s largest law enforcement agency, that exposed systemic corruption, abuse of inmates and a culture that punished whistleblower employees while rewarding those involved in beatings of inmates and other serious misconduct with promotions, despite a record of dangerous behavior. In response to the AP’s investigation, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee demanded Attorney General Merrick Garland fire then-director Michael Carvajal, leading to Carvajal’s resignation. The reporting also led to a series of hearings by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. 

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